Rounding out our understanding of doshas and pakruti, today we’ll look at the characteristics of Kapha.

Dosha is a Sanskrit term often translated as energy or humor; there are 3 doshas and each is defined by certain properties and characteristics. Pakruti means constitution and is determined by the balance of the doshas in the body.

To determine your pakruti, take the Ayurveda Constitution Test. You can read about the other two doshas: Vata or Pitta.

Understanding Kapha

Kapha is composed of earth and water elements.

Properties of Kapha: heavy, slow, cold, oily, slimy, dense, soft, stable, smooth, solid.

Characteristics of a Kapha-dominant prakruti: High self-control, grateful, unselfish, humble, faithful, no jealousy, never greedy, never speaks harshly, slow to get irritated, true to his words, excellent knowledge, strong friendship, obedient, respectful to superiors. Forgets or ignore frights.

  • Tends to require more sleep.
  • Larger body.
  • Lower libido.
  • Weak correlation to B and AB Blood Types.
  • Typical pulse rate of 50-70BPM.
  • Deep and heavy voice.

Signs a Kapha predominant person has an accumulation of toxins: whitish or sticky tongue coating, bad breath, mucous stagnated in throat, low appetite/low digestive fire, aversion to cold, cough.

General treatment plan for Kapha constitution: Panchakarma-vomiting to get rid of the mucous in the upper digestive tract. Dietary therapy should use foods that are light, dry, hot, non-fatty. Kapha persons needs to move and sweat more to liquify heaviness (i.e. burn fat and retained water).

Kapha in the body

Kapha’s location within the body: primarily chest (above heart-namely lungs), throat, head, pancreas, joint (sinovial fluid), stomach, small intestine, plasma, fat, nose, tongue.

Functions of Kapha: Stability and strength; lubrication and moisture; firmness or rigidity of joints; libido; governs patience, stamina, energy, forgiveness, greed, attachment, accumulation, possessivenes, immunity, and calmness of mind.

5 Forms of Kapha: Avalambaka, located in upper chest, provides moisture to heart and lungs and gives strength to cervical vetebrae. Kledaka is the mucous and lining of the stomach which moistens the food. Bodhaka is saliva, tongue, and taste. Tarpaka, located in the head, nourishes and moistens the eyes, nose, sinus, and cerebrospinal fluid. Sleshaka moistens the joints.

Kapha and its wider influences

Other Kapha associations: upper third of the body (above the heart), birth to adolescence, before noon, initial phase of digestion (through stomach)–receiving nourishment, winter and spring.

Kapha categorized tastes: sweet, sour, salty. Conversely, pungent, bitter, and astringent decrease Kapha.


Now that you know the characteristics of all three, you can almost guess which dosha dominates someone’s constitution just by looking or asking a few questions. This however can get tricky if one of the lesser doshas is rising out of balance and skewing the observation.

So how can you apply this? Besides playing the guessing game and guessing your friend’s constitution, you can think about your tendencies, predispostions, personal characteristics, and take preventative action, watch our for changes in your system, and should you wish, choose an ayurvedic diet according to your constitution.

I’m also working on larger theory connecting blood type, ayurvedic constitution, and optimal nutrition plan. Stay tuned.  I will need your help with my survey. 😉